Pabi Moloi is turning heads, literally and figuratively.
Let’s start with the obvious, that enviable svelte figure. She’s slaying big time on the red carpet these days.
“I really try to look at my life through a holistic lens,” she says. “Exercise is vital to my mental health and it also helps me ward off stress. In the gym, I blast my music through my headphones and dance, which replaces the fun outlet that a party would give everyone else.
“Food is a tricky one. I can admit that I don’t always get it right and should be more strict but life is busy and I’m doing the best that I can.”
And that drive is manifested in her career, too.
At the helm of Trending SA on SABC3 since 2016, she went on to win a Golden Horn for Best Talk Show Host at this year’s Safta.
Commenting on the win, she says, with unmistakable excitement, “I have been riding such a wave of excitement. It is such an honour to have a career as fulfilling, enriching and exciting as I have had.
“That in itself is a huge win. Being recognised by my peers in the Safta adjudication panel is a cherry on the top of my already delightful career.”
The Trending SA concept has bowled viewers over. It’s a topical show engaging with the hashtag generation. And it’s constantly transforming with the times and, of course, latest craze.
Moloi adds, “Trending SA gives me an opportunity to share in the daily lives of the country and the world. I can feel the connection we have with our viewers when I engage with people who ask for selfies all over town.
“I often try to delay the selfie a bit to chat about what is at the top of their minds. I think a real moment of connection is a special thing.”
Co-presenting with Kuli Roberts, Nina Hastie and Dr Musa Mthombeni, she offers, “We are often privy to content that only our circles are connected to. We are always bringing our input to the show.”
And that team camaraderie translates into wonderful banter on the show.
In an era where everyone is one status update away from being a hero or black hat, exercising caution when conversing on social media remains of paramount importance.
When asked about her dos and don’ts rulebook, she says, “I was advised once to make sure that I’d be happy with anything I put on social media being printed on a six-metre billboard on the busiest intersection in my city. That changed the game for me.”
Interestingly, Moloi was initially approached to be a judge on Presenter Search on 3, a show that kick-started the careers of the late Simba Mhere (Top Billing), Jonathan Boynton-Lee (Top Billing), Zoë Brown (Expresso), Danilo Acquisto (Afternoon Express and Win a Home) and Jade Hübner (Top Billing), who are now household names.
She adds, “When I agreed, the channel asked to use me as the host.”
Every presenter likes to put their midas touch on a show they are driving.
Moloi has one cardinal rule. “Just be yourself,” she says.
Having started out as a child star in TV commercials, then joining KTV on M-Net, she briefly explored the acting side of things with Soul City. Does she plan on crossing over, again?
She hints, “Yes, absolutely. I joke with Akin Omotoso that I would love to play a villain in one of his films in 20 years. I’ve also asked Mandla to cast me in Lockdown, since I have the right haircut to fit into his prison. I’m only half joking on both accounts.”
On juggling motherhood and a demanding career, she does remind one a little of Sarah Jessica Parker in I Don’t Know How She Does It.
Moloi reveals, “I have a massive, competent and caring support system. I’m so grateful for them all.”
What else is on the cards?
“Presenter Search on 3 is taking the finalists on a trip of a lifetime. I’m tagging along, for professional reasons. I can’t tell you where we are going but it’s going to be phenomenal.”
I guess we’ll just have to settle for that #surprise moment.
There are still three audition dates. Today at the Durban Exhibition Centre. And from April 20 - 22 at the Wanderers Cricket Stadium in Joburg. Presenter Search on 3 premieres on Thursday, May 10 at 7.30pm on SABC3.
The Sunday Independent